The Charismatic Passive Aggressive Man: How Abuse Victims Fall into The Trap

charismatic passive aggressiveWhat Causes a Woman to Continue Following a Passive Aggressive Man?

Charisma plays a huge role in attracting and keeping a victim in an unhealthy relationship. It is not necessarily looks that create charisma – often is the demeanor, the performance that the passive aggressive uses. It is an intense gaze that is “only” for you, a warm voice, and a confidence in his walk. You may know his history and his pitfalls already, but he makes you like him anyway. When the right impression creates attraction, devotion and admiration can allow this abuser to get away with murder – many cult leaders, con-artists, and criminals gained power through their personal charisma.

How is that even possible?

Many times, the charismatic passive aggressive will tell his victim enchanting stories. One such ploy is selling the victim her own fantasies. It can be a fantasy of a protector, someone who has the power to get things done, or even a sexual fantasy. Whether it is strength, sexual prowess, independence, power, knowledge, etc., the charismatic abuser’s attractive traits are always performances, destined to tell her that everything is wonderful and that she is in the right place and time with the person right for her.

But it's not always that simple... many times there will be a small voice inside telling her that not everything is OK. If she listens to that voice, she can see under his facade, and begin to grasp the real information that she needs to make a very important choice. The fact that she could be already under this spell will define the direction she goes.

If she is convinced that, even with the contradictory information and her gut feeling pulling her away, she can trust him with her protection and comfort, then little can be done. He can tap her hidden need for protection and convince her that, even so passive aggressive as it can be, his love is the best thing that could happen to her... To challenge this, she needs to accepts that she is alone, having to protect herself, that daddy or any knight on shining armor are not coming to rescue her, and that she needs to value and appreciate herself to live with self-respect.

Which, of course, is the task that life dishes out to all of us!

The answer to the old question: "if he is such a passive aggressive and making her so unhappy, why is she not leaving him?" is hidden under the relative strength of her self-esteem. If her sense of being "nothing" is very strong, any warped comment that she can construe as appreciation from him will be good enough. The sad thing is that if this situation takes a long time to develop, she will discover that she has neglected to take care of herself long enough as to depend on whatever he will want to do for her. Here lies his real power, to reduce her identity slowly, over time, so that by the time she realizes what is happening, it is too late.

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  1. Annie, 01 October, 2010

    Wow, this is sooooo true. I am so dependant that I can’t even support myself, I’ve spent all of my time taking care of home and kids. I feel stuck! I am trying to find a job so i can get myself and my daughter out of this unhealthy/abusive situation but times are tough and jobs are scarce, especially in our small town! I have distanced myself from him and continue to try and establish a means of supporting myself, but I may have to leave very soon, cool weather is here and he likes to burn firewood that I have allergies to-which aggravates my auto-immune disease and I have no where to go.

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